THE FIRE SERVICE OF DUBLIN
The losses by fire in the city of Dublin, Ireland, during the year 1916. exclusive of the conflagrations due to the disturbances in that city in April of that year, were less than during the previous year, testifying to efficient work by Chief Thomas P. Purcell and the fire department. The chief and the department also did effective work at the fires due to the April disturbances, as previously reported in the journal. Chief Purcell in his annual report shows that while there were 161 fires in 1915, there were only 100 last year, excepting the April disturbance fires. He says: The brigade received 145 calls to normal fires or supposed fires, a decrease of 76 calls and 61 fires as compared with the previous year. Of these calls 100 were fires in the city, 7 were fires outside the city, 23 were to chimney fires, 3 houses which had fallen and 12 false alarms, of which all but two from sprinklered systems were maliciously given. Of the ordinary fires four with losses of over £500 are classed as serious, thirteen medium and eighty-three slight. The total estimated value at risk at these fires is estimated at £465,733 and the losses ascertained at £41,209. The report further says that an approximate estimate of the direct losses to buildings and contents due to fires in the April disturbances would be about £2,000,000. Exclusive of the disturbed period, when the brigade was practically at work continuously, it turned out to fires with motor and other appliances 93 times—42 during the day and 51 at night.
Causes of Fires.
Normal city fires were as follows: Bakery, 1; brush manufactory, 1; cabinet makers, 3; chemical works, 1; forage stores, 2; fried fish shops, 3; maltsters, 2; offices, 5; pawnbrokers’ sales shops, 2; painting contractors, 1; residences, 14; soap manufacturer, 1; steamship, 1; stores, 7; shops (various trades), 12; timber drying kiln, 1; textile works, 1; tailors’ shops, 3 ; tenements. 27; sawmills, 2. The fires were caused by: Airing linen, 2; burning rubbish, 2; children with lights, 4; defective construction, 23; electrical defects, 3; explosion of spirit vapor, 1; ignition of escaping gas, 1; lamps upset, 4; light in contact, 5; light thrown down. 1; overheating, 4; plumbers’ blow lamp, 2; sparks, 4; spontaneous ignition, 3; tar and fat boiling, 3; tramps, 1; unknown, 26.
The strength of the staff remains unaltered from the previous year. The ambulance service has been efficiently worked during the past year. First aid was rendered by the firemen on many occasions. Assistance was given in the removal of wounded soldiers and officers from the hospital ships, when required. The report says that during the critical period (in April, 1916) the three ambulances were worked continuously in removing the wounded under great difficulty and constant peril from stray bullets, on many occasions being under actual fire. In addition, many other humanitarian services were rendered, such as bringing food and doctors to a hospital otherwise inaccessible, and removing sick persons from danger zones to places of greater safety, etc. During 1916 there were 2,331 calls and 68 private cases.
The apparatus in service includes: 1 steam fire engine (capacity 800 gallons per minute), 1 steam fire engine (capacity 300 gallons per minute), 2 petrol motor pumps (capacity 350 to 800 gallons per minute), 3 aerial extension ladders (66 feet elevation) with water tower apparatus, 2 hose tenders with accessories (including folding Pompier ladders), 1 hose wagon, 1 motor ambulance, 2 ambulance wagons, 1 trap for chief officer, 8 horses, 3 telescopic ladders (28 feet extension), 7 jumping sheets and life lines, 12 hand pumps, 18 stand pipes, 25 branch pipes, 2 cellar pipes, 11,600 feet 2 3/4-inch canvas hose, 80 feet 2 ¾-inch leather hose, 100 feet 3 1/2-inch canvas hose, 1 smoke helmet (“Bader Patent”), 1 oxygen rescue apparatus. Apparatus in reserve is: 1 Clayton fire escape with fore-carriage and shafts (72 feet elevation), 1 hose tender, 2 hand hose carts, 1 general purpose wagonette, 10 standpipes, 2 branch pipes.